Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research shows potential for quasicrystals

Date:
March 20, 2013
Source:
Syracuse University
Summary:
A new article describes the history of quasicrystals and how this area can open up numerous opportunities in fundamental optics research.

Two-dimensional Penrose type quasicrystal made using only two tile shapes: a thick rhomb and a thin rhomb. The structure proposed by Roger Penrose lacks translational symmetry and exhibits five-fold rotational symmetry not allowed in regular crystals.
Credit: Image courtesy of Syracuse University

Ever since their discovery in 1984, the burgeoning area of research looking at quasiperiodic structures has revealed astonishing opportunities in a number of areas of fundamental and applied research, including applications in lasing and sensing. Quasiperiodic structures, or quasicrystals, because of their unique ordering of atoms and a lack of periodicity, possess remarkable crystallographic, physical and optical properties not present in regular crystals.

In the article "Optics of photonic quasicrystals," in the March issue of Nature Photonics, Amit Agrawal, professor in the Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science along with his colleagues from the University of Utah present the history of quasicrystals and how this area can open up numerous opportunities in fundamental optics research including possibilities for building smaller optical circuits, performing lithography at a much smaller length scale and making more efficient optical devices that can be used for biosensing, solar cells or spectroscopy applications.

Up until their discovery, researchers including crystallographers, material scientists, physicists and engineers, only focused around two kinds of structures: periodic (e.g. a simple cubic lattice) and random (e.g. amorphous solids such as glass). Periodic structures are known for their predictable symmetry, both rotational and translational, and they were believed to be the only kinds of repeating structures that could occur in nature. From basic solid state physics, these structures are only allowed to exhibit strict 2, 3, 4 or 6-fold rotational symmetry, i.e., upon rotation by a certain angle about a crystallographic axis, the shape would still look identical upon each rotation. It was not believed that there could be a structure that existed which violated these four symmetry rules. Random systems, the other big area of research, looks at amorphous or disordered media like gases.


The introduction of quasicrystals – an ordered structure that lacks periodicity, exhibits some properties similar to periodic structures (such as atomic ordering over large-length scales) while violates rotational symmetry rules associated with them (i.e., a quasicrystal can exhibit 5 or 8 fold rotational symmetry) – was an area initially met with resistance from the research community. Agrawal explores this transition from skepticism to the ultimate acceptance by a growing number of researchers exploring the potential of these unique structures.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Syracuse University. The original article was written by Ariel DuChene. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Z. Valy Vardeny, Ajay Nahata, Amit Agrawal. Optics of photonic quasicrystals. Nature Photonics, 2013; 7 (3): 177 DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2012.343

Cite This Page:

Syracuse University. "Research shows potential for quasicrystals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320095225.htm>.
Syracuse University. (2013, March 20). Research shows potential for quasicrystals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320095225.htm
Syracuse University. "Research shows potential for quasicrystals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320095225.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins